Facts about NREGA in Assam

for Ministry of Panchayati Raj | Date - 08-08-2006

To facilitate generation employment avenues for unskilled workers in rural areas, as many as seven districts of Assam have so far been covered under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). These districts are- Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Goalpara, N.C. Hills, Karbi Anglong, Dhemaji and Lakhimpur.

Providing this information, the Joint Direc;tor of Panchayat and Rural Development (P & RD) of Assam, Sri H.K. Baidya informed that rest of the districts in the state would be brought under the purview of the Act within next four years in a phased manner.

Addressing the session on NREGA of Public Information Campaign organized by the PIB, Guwahati at Uparhali, Mirza in Kamrup district today, Sri Baidya said the NREGA replaced the earlier Centrally sponsored scheme, National Food for Work Programme that was abandoned in September, 2005.

Giving details about the operation of the NREGAwhich is called the Assam Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the official informed that panchayats were primarily responsible for selection of beneficiaries under the employment generation scheme that aims at providing 100 days of work per year per beneficiary.

Employment seekers are required to register themselves with local panchayats which are supposed to verify facts provided by applicants before providing employment, if any, within their jurisdiction.

Further the job seeker is should given jobs within 15 days since their names were registered with concerned panchayat body. In case failure on part of the state government to provide jobs through panchayats, individual applicants are entitled to unemployment allowance for next 30 days at the rate of one fourth of the state government prescribed daily wage for unskilled workers.

In case employment can not be provided even after expiry of 30 days, the unemployment allowance have to be increased to at par with half of the state government prescribed daily wage for unskilled workers.

The Central government has sponsored the NREGA in Assam at 90:10 fund share basis. The Centre has already released its component of 90 per cent in advance. The Central government is not responsible for payment of unemployment allowance that is required to be paid by the state government from its own resources.

So far 4, 20,982 job seekers have been registered with panchayat bodies in seven districts of the state covered under the NREGA. Out of these seven districts, Deputy Commissioners are acting as programme coordinator in four districts. The Principal Secretaries of Autonomous District Councils are acting as coordinators in the two hill districts of North Cachar and Karbi Anglong while in case of Kokrajhar district, the Additional Principal Secretary of Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District Council (BTADC) is the coordinator.

Addressing the session, Sri A Rahman, Joint Director, P &RD, Assam, informed that concerned government officials would be held responsible for failing to provide jobs to applicants under the NREGA.

Presiding over the session, senior journalist Sri Samudra Gupta Kashyap commented that as the Government of India was aiming at doubling the income of rural folk, the people should participate in implementation of schemes in a much bigger way for their own benefits.

He said successful implementation of schemes like NREGA, Bharat Nirman not only boost income of rural population but also facilitate multiplied effects on public health and overall economy. Rsk/Akd.

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(Release ID :19672)

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